IT has performed at some of the most prestigious venues in ballet, from Sadler's Wells to the Festival Theatre.

But for its new season, Scotland's national ballet company is to tour, for the first time, a full scale production to some of the most far-flung locations in the country.

In the spring, Scottish Ballet will take their production of Matthew Bourne's Highland Fling to several venues outwith the central belt, including several venues, mainly sports halls, in the highlands and islands.

The company, led by artistic director Christopher Hampson, are making the tour to underline the national scope of the company.

It a new venture, it will play in the Clickimin Main Hall in Lerwick, Shetland, at the Pickaquoy Centre in Kirkwall, Orkney, at the Atlantis Leisure centre in Oban and the Lewis sports centre, Stornoway in April and May.

Highland Fling is Bourne's re-working of the romantic ballet La Sylphide, and each show will be the same production as audiences will see when it is performed at the Theatre Royal in Glasgow and the Festival Theatre, Edinburgh, on the same tour.

Later in the summer, the company will make a very different tour: it will perform its own production of Hansel and Gretel in Macau, followed by shows in Seoul, South Korea, the Hong Kong Culture Centre as part of the International Arts Carnival, in May and July.

Highland Fling was originally produced in 1995 by Bourne, one of the UK's acclaimed choreographers.

Mr Hampson said that the ballet is to utilise sports halls - with capacities of around 300-400 people - as they allow the size and scope for creating a stage, a proscenium arch, and the technical infrastructure required for a full ballet production.

He said: "I think this coming year is a snapshot of all the kind of work we do, and that includes taking our work to as many people in Scotland as we can, but also showing that dedication to international touring.

"We have been able to take some works to the highlands and islands, but often they are hybrid ballet, or smaller works.

"Even when I was a dancer myself I used to love doing the smaller venues, and when I took this job I was serious about making sure that these audiences, who pay their taxes too, are getting to see the same work that they would see in Glasgow or Edinburgh.

"The important thing is that this is not a cut-down version, it is the same.

"With the sports facilities like this, we can control the space and our technical staff can create a stage.

"I know Matthew Bourne is very excited about the tour."

The show will be in Lerwick, Kirkwall and Oban in late April and Stornoway in May.

However, the show is not for all ages: due to some of its scenes being "of an adult nature", it is recommended for those aged 14 and over.

The International Tour is a showcase of a different kind, Mr Hampson said.

"It is completely different, I am thrilled it is Hansel & Gretel because that is one of our own productions," he said.

"It is good to be flying the flag for Scotland with something we have created ourselves.

"It's been a long time since we have been to Korea, and it is an interesting time to be going to Seoul."

He added: "I think it is important to show what we are doing in Scotland to the rest of the world.

"And I love that wherever we go, we don't just rock up and do a performance, we work with communities, we deliver education too."

Scottish Ballet, one of the core National Companies that is funded directly by the Scottish Government, will also work with the 2018 European Championships in Glasgow, in an event alongside youth dance company YDance.

The winter season this year will feature Cinderella, originally devised by Mr Hampson for the Royal New Zealand Ballet in 2007.

It will play in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Inverness in December and January.

Mr Hampson joined Scottish Ballet as Artistic Director in August 2012 and was appointed Artistic Director / Chief Executive of Scottish Ballet in June 2015.

As a dancer, he trained at the Royal Ballet Schools.